Nov. 30, 2005

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  Coach Pearl | C. Lofton

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Chris Lofton scored a game-high 18 points and spurred the game-breaking run as Tennessee beat Murray State 64-53 Wednesday night in Nashville.

Major Wingate and Andre Patterson each added 11 for the Volunteers, who improved to 4-0 under new coach Bruce Pearl. Pearl, who led Wisconsin-Milwaukee to the NCAA Regional semifinal last season, was named coach at Tennessee last April.

Issian Redding had 14 points and Tyler Holloway 11 for Murray State (1-2). The Racers led 32-26 at the half and still were ahead 47-46 with 7:35 left when Lofton started a 12-1 Tennessee run.

First, Lofton hit back-to-back 3-pointers and then connected on two baskets in transition.

A reverse layup by Lofton with 2:41 remaining put the Vols up 58-48.

Murray State shot 46.4 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes but the Tennessee defense slowed the Racers in the second half, holding them to 28.6 percent.

At one point during the pivotal stretch, Murray State missed six straight shots. Murray State took their halftime lead on a 12-6 run, including consecutive 3-pointers by Holloway.

The game was played in Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center.

Game Notes

  • Maysville, Ky., native Chris Lofton led UT in scoring (18 points) for the second time this season and the 13th time in his career. He scored 12 straight points for the Vols at one point in the second half.
  • Andre Patterson's career-high 14 rebounds marked the first time a Vol grabbed at least 10 boards since former Vol Brandon Crump had 10 vs. South Carolina Feb. 23, 2005. Tonight's game was Patterson's sixth career double-digit rebounding performance and his third career double-double (11 points).
  • Major Wingate (10 points), C.J. Watson (11 points) and Chris Lofton have all scored in double figures in each of UT's four games this season.
  • Tennessee shot 35.7 percent from the field tonight, while Murray State shot 37.5 percent. The game marked the only time this season that UT's opponents shot better than Tennessee.
  • The Vols have a +9.5 turnover margin on the year. Tennessee won tonight's turnover battle, turning the ball over just nine times to Murray State's 17.
  • At 4-0, Tennessee is off to its best start since beginning the 2000-01 campaign 9-0.
  • The Vols' all-time record in Nashville now stands at 41-5-1, including a 2-1 mark at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
  • Over the past 20 seasons (1986-87 through 2005-06), Tennessee is 13-13 in regular-season neutral-site games.
  • UT is 40-1 all-time against current members of the Ohio Valley Conference.
  • The Vols lead the all-time series with Murray State 2-0, dating to 1945.
  • Today's game marked the first time Tennessee rallied to overcome a halftime deficit since winning at Florida Jan. 19, 2005. The Vols trailed that contest 29-30 at the half and came back to post an 83-76 victory in overtime.





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